MONKEY THINK, MONKEY WRITE: Making a memorable first impression is crucial

With people leaving old jobs and starting news ones thanks to our global economy — [cough! Recession! cough!] — it is prime time to give folks who are launching new careers a little been there, done that kind of wisdom.

For new hires, it’s especially important to get noticed quickly. That’s why it’s always a good reason to memorize a few conversation starters to make an unforgettable first impression.

Sure, new workers could always rely on the classics, those old faithfuls that really turn heads:

“You want what, when?”

“Can I put you on hold for a minute while I find somebody who gives a damn?”

“I’m sorry I missed the coronation, Your Highness. Now what did you just ask me to do?”

If you are new to a job, though, I would suggest trying something original; saying something new and fresh to get the attention of your coworkers.

Here are a few:

“I had this great tuna fish sandwich for lunch. It had little bits of pickle and red pepper in the mix, and just the right amount of mayo. I found it in the fridge in the break room. Do you think that’s going to be a problem?”

“I met the boss’ daughter last week. Tramp.”

“I know my first payday isn’t for two weeks, but that’s going to cramp my style a bit. Who do I talk to about an advance? I’m also going to need some vacation time. As in, real quick.”

“Well, if I didn’t want you to notice my pierced navel, I would have worn a shirt.”

“I got so wasted at Marcie’s party that I passed out and people drew on my face with magic markers. Here, let me show you the photos I put on my MySpace page.”

“I found this great spot to hide over behind those file cabinets. You want to check it out?”

Speaking of questions, it’s always good to ask a bunch of questions on your first day, so your new employer will think you are really interested in your new job.

“This policy about no guns at work, can I ask you about that? Is that just for, like, handguns, or does it include assault rifles?”

“How many hours do I have to work to qualify for my first sick day? Cough, cough.”

“I haven’t seen anybody working here who is wearing sandals. Is that like a personal choice, you think, or does this place have some sort of freaky dress code?”

“Do you know where they put the keys to the forklift? I’m planning this really big project at home on Saturday, so I need to know.”

“Hey, are you done with the paper? I want to check out the want ads.”

Next issue: No pain, no gain.